5 healthy emergency snacks: no refrigeration required

Last week I wrote about my plan to give up snacking on protein bars and meal replacement treats. For me, these are trigger foods that don’t satisfy and leave me wanting a second or third. (9 days without and still going strong!)

As usual, you guys had tons of great snack ideas for me. (Thanks so much!)

But my problem wasn’t so much that I couldn’t come up with healthy snack options but more that I needed healthy EMERGENCY snack options. You know, no fork, no fridge required. Snacks that could sit in your backpack or purse or glove box for more than a day or two without turning mouldy and going bad. Snacks that could be eaten in the car between clients and before grocery shopping!

When I started buying protein bars, I did so for just that reason. To have healthy emergency snacks readily available for days when I ended up with too few clean eats in my cooler. Yep, it happens to me too.

Over the last week, I’ve spent several hours perusing various grocery stores and markets searching for options. My criteria?

  • Each snack must combine complex carbohydrates with lean protein.
  • Added sugars (and fake sugars) are to be avoided wherever possible.
  • Single servings packs are preferred (although more expensive and less environmentally friendly, these aren’t every day snacks, but things I might rely on once a week)
  • Refrigeration not required.
  • Finger food wherever possible.
I managed to come up with 5 healthy emergency snacks that I’ll be using to make car and gym bag care packs!
1. Seasoned tuna and melba toast (Spicy Thai Chili is my favourite!)
clean eating snacks
2. Dried apricots and pumpkin seeds (packaged separately to keep the almonds crisp)
clean eating snacks
3. Dried apple rings and raw pecans (my 13-year old found the apple rings and ate the whole bag before I could get a picture)
4. Whole grain rice cakes and nut butter (I have yet to find a local shop that sells individual servings. I KNOW they exist; I’ve seen them on Instagram!)
Β clean eating snacks
5. Unsweetened applesauce cups and unsalted almonds

clean eating snacks

Note that numbers 1 and 5 do require cutlery; do you know how hard it is to find protein with a shelf life?

Now it’s your turn.

What would you pack in your healthy emergency snack pack?

And where do YOU buy individual servings of nut butters?



  1. Im a bulk order person when it comes to those packets.
    and always have an envelope of tuna or chicken and a fork in the car…at the ready πŸ˜‰
    MIzMiz recently posted…Happy.My Profile

  2. What brand do you order? I’m thinking I need to go that way too. Probably less expensive as well, right?

  3. This is great! I don’t have any suggestions for you. But, maybe I can use some of these suggestions to get rid of my luna bar addiction (the chocolate peppermint stick ones are addictive).
    Krissy recently posted…How Dieting Makes People ObeseMy Profile

    • Luna bars are like chocolate to me; can’t have just one… well, maybe one for a treat…

  4. Great list Tamara! I love apple sauce. My emergency snack pack has bananas and grapes (they stay well out of the fridge for a few days).
    Talia @ Bite Size Wellness recently posted…10 Breadless Sandwich IdeasMy Profile

    • I’ve had bad luck with bananas; left one in the bottom of a purse for about a month. Very sticky and stinky…. Bananas are a ‘have to be eaten at home’ snack for me!

  5. I pack dried seaweed. Don’t gag. Try it!
    KymberlyFunFit recently posted…4 Fitness Grammar MistakesMy Profile

    • I saw some at Planet Organic last week. What does it taste like? Salty? And is it filling?

      • A little salty perhaps, but tasty. Trader Joe’s has dried seaweed in gym bag size. Filling? Well, enough to get me home or the next meal without getting so hungry I make a non-nutritious choice.
        KymberlyFunFit recently posted…4 Fitness Grammar MistakesMy Profile

        • I will give them a try on YOUR recommendation Kymberly! I like seaweed in sushi, so who knows? Thanks for the tip!

  6. The Sundried Tomato Tuna is sooooo good! I usually prepare and pack some chicken, peppers, tuna (obviously) and protein powder πŸ™‚
    Kierston recently posted…Part I ~ The Girls of Florida Fitness Aylmer: Post-CompetitionMy Profile

    • I’m a chicken and peppers girl too, but not as an emergency snack!
      Protein powder is an obvious one; how did I miss it?
      Thanks for the reminder (and I’m going to add some to my gym bag right now!)

  7. Hey Tamara, great ideas! I’m in the same boat, I gave up Cliffbuilders because they were making me retain water (I’m guessing, because I’ve been off them a couple of weeks and it’s MUCH better). I was eating one every day! My fav on-the-go snack that qualifies here is almonds with dried cranberries. Usually though I grab something as I’m leaving – grapes, Babybel, no-salt pretzels… or a Questbar πŸ˜‰
    Suzanne @WorkoutNirvana recently posted…Science-Based Truths About Metabolism Part 1My Profile

    • I’ve never tried Cliffbuilders, but I probably shouldn’t, right? Don’t want to trade one addiction for another!
      I love dried cranberries too, but most brands have sugar and sulphites. Do you have a recommendation for one that doesn’t?

      • Suzanne @WorkoutNirvana says:

        Whole Foods or another one like it? Truthfully, I don’t eat them much, only in an emergency. I eat the almonds with grapes, mostly.

  8. I always have some trail mix in my bag. I also love tamari almonds, but you already have them on your list. And this won’t totally meet your non-fridge request, but I pack apple slices with cheese, then put an ice pack into the bag with them. I cut them in the morning, knowing I’ll be too hungry to do it later (besides, it’s usually while I’m driving that I eat on workdays). I also love celery with cream cheese or peanut butter. Tastie Foods makes flavored raisins & cranberries in case you want root beer or cinnamon flavored raisins! Even mango.
    Oh, wait, final thing I LOVE – those crackers that are almond & rice. Nut Thins?
    AlexandraFunFit recently posted…4 Fitness Grammar MistakesMy Profile

    • Rice crackers; brilliant idea! Guess I need to head back to the grocery store and check out a few more aisles.
      Thanks for the suggestions Alexandra!

  9. Such a great post! I have never seen those tunas.. maybe in Canada only – I must check! πŸ™‚

    I make my own protein bars & muffins which are easy to take. I love my almonds!

    I have not found individual serving nut butters that are clean but I know they are out there.

    I am not a rice fan anymore – bod does not seem to like but I have cleaner breads I like so I can always take a piece or two….

    They have some great on the go containers these days you may want to check out….
    Jody – Fit at 54 recently posted…Do You Feel It? Supplements & Your ThoughtsMy Profile

  10. Hey great list of emergency snacks Tamara! My emergency snacks include:
    1) Low fat Milk packets(very fulfilling with some nuts)
    2) Mixture of nuts including almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, chestnuts(if available).
    3) Dried fruits including raisins, figs, dates, apricots.
    4) Seeds: sunflower, pumpkin.
    5) Vegetables: carrots, boiled baby potatoes with dressing, cucumber slices.
    6) Fruit: apples and oranges.
    7) Organic bread with sweet or salty spread.
    8) Cheese(separate/on bread/on veggies)
    Hope this was helpful!

  11. OMG that clover leaf tuna looks so delicious! I always have tinned fish with me at all times – as a matter of fact, I have an easy open can sitting in the center console of my car with a napkin and fork for those times when I just didn’t have enough time to make something and take it with me! Tin cans (sans BPA, lol) are the best invention EVER!

  12. Nicola says:

    I take the tuna cans for lunch and I use celery as a spoon for whatever veggies I am eating. Tomato and onion is my favorite !!

    • Tamara says:

      Great idea! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to pack a spoon or fork and had to scoop it out with my fingers!

  13. I make homemade granola (oats, nuts, dried fruit, coconut, spices – all baked together), which is great finger food! Also, raisins + peanuts taste like PB&J in crunchy form.
    Christina recently posted…Black Bean and Mango QuesadillasMy Profile

    • Yum! That sounds fantastic Christina! I love home made granola too; so nice to know what you’re eating πŸ˜‰

  14. Hi! I love your blog! I just posted about this, I know you wrote this a while ago now. My favorite is prunes and almonds! It keeps for a long time, you don’t need any utensils, and it is nutritious and quite good! I squish my almonds into my prunes and eat them together like tiny protein bars. πŸ™‚ You can read it here! http://www.craftsandcardio.com/2013/12/06/emergency-snacks/

  15. Awesome snack ideas! Thanks for sharing.


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